Export – Import. Business Etiquette Peru

These are some of the tips from my own experience with peruvians business people that I can exchange with you:
Schedule business meetings well in advance and never drop in unexpectedly on a client in Peru; this is not appreciated.

When planning a trip to Peru allow yourself an extra day to get used to the higher altitudes. Use the that 24 hours for resting or visiting the countryside. Be overly prepared for your meeting but expect it to turn into several meetings in the future. Do your best to develop rapport with your Peruvian counterparts and your business deal will be off the ground.

Initial introductions require a handshake but as the relationship develops do not be surprised if your counterparts hug you upon seeing you. This gesture means you are accepted and liked. Try not to shy away or act timid about these affections which are meant strictly in a friendship context.

Peruvians run on what is called “la hora peruana,” or “Peruvian time.” This means that your hosts may be as much as an hour late for a scheduled appointment.

When presenting information, be direct and to the point. Peruvians conduct business in a brisk, efficient manner. Negotiators are tenacious and competitive. Peruvians have a tendency to be cautious and untrusting of foreigners.

Although you might be with a large group of Peruvians the most senior one is the one that you’ll want to concentrate on when it comes to developing a rapport. Failure to recognize this person will likely hinder further business plans. Even if you don’t know who that person is it won’t be hard to tell during the initial meetings. Others will defer to this person often. Once you’ve identified him make frequent eye contact with him during the presentation and be especially considerate to him.

Business cards and other paperwork should be printed in English on one side, Spanish on the other. Professional titles are thought of highly so list yours directly on your card. Hand card to someone with right hand only. Make a show of examining any cards given to you.

Decisions are typically made at the highest level only, so try to meet with the top executives when possible. Be patient; negotiations will often end without a decision having been made.

Communication
Most business is conducted in Spanish, the official language of Peru. For best results when negotiating with Peruvian clients, learn Spanish and be able to communicate fluently. Otherwise, bring an interpreter. Though many Peruvians understand English to a degree, it will be expected that you communicate in their language.

Introductions are informal, but you should address your clients with their title, or with “Señor” or “Señora.”. Names can be somewhat confusing since most Hispanics have two surnames – one each from their father and mother. Only the father’s surname, however, is used when addressing someone. Pay close attention while being introduced and pronounce the name as it was pronounced during introductions. That is the time to ask for clarification if needed.

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